The Center for Research and Documentation Chile-Latin America e.V. (FDCL - Forschungs- und Dokumentationszentrum Chile-Lateinamerika non-profit registered association) exists since 1974 and is a center for information and communication for individuals and groups that wish to inform themselves or get involved with Latin America-related issues. It is well known far beyond the borders of Berlin
Diverse projects, political initiatives, country committees, migrant groups and Latin America-related media projects work under the umbrella of FDCL. Since the founding of the association in 1974 our archive continously and critically contributes to the documentation of social, economic and political developments in Latin America and of its relationships with the countries of the "North".
FDCL forms a lively office-community with the Lateinamerika Nachrichten LN-Journal since 1974 and with the BLUE21 - whose rooms also are the domicile of attac berlin - since 1996. We are located on the upper floor of the Mehringhof in Berlin-Kreuzberg.
Since our foundation we cooperate with social movements and civil society organizations from all parts of Latin America within the framework of our educational and awareness raising activities.
The FDCL is part of several development and solidarity networks and campaigns. For example, it is member of the Berliner Entwicklungspolitischer Ratschlag BER, the network of Brazil-groups in Germany, Austria and Switzerland: Kooperation Brasilien KoBra, the Tropenwaldnetzwerk Brasilien, the Bundeskoordination Internationalismus BUKO, the federation of archives Archiv³, the Koalition gegen Straflosigkeit, the Bildungsnetzwerk "Eine Welt Berlin" des Entwicklungspolitischen Bildungs- und Informationszentrum – EPIZ e.V. Berlin, the CorA - Corporate Accountability Netzwerk für Unternehmensverantwortung, the latin american/european biregional network Enlazando Alternativas, the Netzwerk Selbsthilfe and of ATTAC-Germany.
Together with the Latin America Department of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation (Berlin and Rio de Janeiro) the FDCL since 2003 works on development and human rights-related aspects of free-trade-agreements, especially regarding free trade of the European Union with the MERCOSUR. The Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute (TNI) has also joined this project in 2006.
FDCL has an internationalist orientation and sees itself as part of the German solidarity movement and opposes the neoliberal globalization. Our regional focus is Latin America and the Caribbean and we work on, for example, the different aspects of globalization and the international framework for development in the context of the so-called North-South-relationship. Other of our main issues are trade and development policy, environmental policy, migration and racism and networking between progressive movements and political actors here and in Latin America. The advocacy for the political, economic, social and cultural human rights has always been at the center of the work of FDCL.
In this sense the FDCL for more than 30 years has been concentrating on solidarity-work with Latin America and the development-related educational, awareness-raising and lobby work in Germany: Our association organizes political discussions and information activities, seminaries and conferences, cultural and visiting programs with guests from Latin America and campaigns. We publish books, working papers and information material related to diverse aspects and topics of our work.
Due to its wide range of contacts and long-year experience the FDCL can offer speakers for the most diverse issues to interested groups and organizations. Individuals, representatives of social movements and diverse organizations from Latin America visit the FDCL and are accompanied on campaining-tours. In this area the FDCL cooperates with diverse North-South-related initiatives, non-governmental organizations and institutions.
In the seventies and eighties LN and FDCL have organized series of events concerning the most different topics and have issued special editions and book projects, e.g. "Football and Torture" Argentina World Cup or with respect to the nuclear deals of West-Germany with Brazil and Argentina, women in Nicaragua, the relations between West-Germany and Nicaragua, democracy in Costa Rica, the change in Nicaragua, unions in Chile and many other topics. A complete overview can be found here. The event series, like the Latin America Days organized between 1980 and 1991 or the counter-campaign against the 500-year celebrations in the "Columbus-Year" 1992 attracted lots of people from far beyond Berlin. During the first years a central reference point of the activities of LN and FDCL was the struggle against Latin American military dictatorships. The revolutionary movements in Central America and the outbreak of the debt crisis in Latin America also became important moments of discussion and preoccupation.
Since the nineties several new topics and debates joined, like the Zapatista movement in Mexican Chiapas and social movements in Argentina; the history of feminism, the landless-movement, police violence and the situation in the jails as well as the difficult mission of human rights defense in Brazil; the detention of Pinochet 1998 and the impunity debate and issues like the situation of political prisioners in Chile; new grass-rootsprojects in Venezuela, the Argentine Cacerolazo in 2001 and occupied factories; piqueteros in Argentina and the water war in Cochabamba (Bolivia); the fight against megaprojects and the fight for land; grass-roots projects and cooperatives; human rights violations in the Amazonas region. The Plan Colombia and social conflicts around natural resources, bio-piracy and the neoliberal advance in the entire continent in the context of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), regarding the EU-MERCOSUR free-trade negotiations or the WTO; the conflicts with respect to patents and intellectual property in the framework of TRIPS, the development agenda or the (non-) access to knowledge in the WIPO; a critical analysis of German development cooperation in the water sector and the discussion on free trade and industrial development; the critique of value chain approaches and of liberalization negotiations; the antagonism of the World Economic Forum in Davos and the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre; the European Social Forum and trans-continentally linked alternatives; the newspaper and journal archive of the seventies and the freely accessible online archive with historical treasures. Besides political and economic issues we also focus intensively on the cultural Latin America: literature, movies and movie-festivals, music - all this has become an inherent part of LN- articles and FDCL activities.
Our current topics and projects can be found on the FDCL project-page.
The broad newspaper-, journal- and book archive of the FDCL has grown to become the biggest independent, non state-led Latin America archive in the German language area. It disposes of a in this form unique stock, that covers a broad spectrum of topics.
The FDCL archive offers a wide range of information to politically interested persons, academic research or for preparing travel abroad.
Research can be led in situ independently or with our help. Journals and newspaper articles can be copied and books can be borrowed.
Research orders and general requests can be directed to our archive by regular mail, fax, phone or e-mail. The FDCL-archive is member of the federation of archives Archiv3, which links several North-South archives in Germany.
The work of FDCL is mainly financed by project-based contributions of diverse donors and foundations. In order to maintain our financial independence, however, we also depend on donations. As a non-profit registered association we give tax-reduction certificates. The members of the association are informed at least once a year about the ongoing work and activities. The work of FDCL is done to a large extent by volunteers.